Penelope Cruz turns 35 today. Jay Leno is turning 59. Jessica Alba is 28. Former Secretary of State Jim Baker turns 79. Famed chef Alice Waters is 65. Author Harper Lee is 83. Actress Bridget Moynahan turns 38. Ann-Marget is turning 68. Wooster Group director Elizabeth LeCompte is 65. Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon is turning 56. Famed defense attorney Ted Wells is turning 59. Golfer John Daly is 43. And the rapper Too Short turns 43 today.
Could stress and anxiety over the state of the economy explain why so many celebrity chefs are getting a bit belligerent as of late? Anthony Bourdain went out of his way to launch a verbal assault on Alice Waters recently. And the war between Mario Batali and Gordon Ramsay has been heating up in recent days, too. Apparently, Batali made some critical comments about the Hell's Kitchen star more than a year ago, a move that prompted Ramsay to start calling Batali "fanta pants" in honor of the orange shorts he's long been fond of.
• You can't afford to eat there any more, but you'll be pleased to hear that Daniel is still a four-star restaurant, according to Frank Bruni, who says Adam Tihany's recent redesign is "genuinely gorgeous." [NYT]
• Jason Pomeranc's Thompson LES is opening a rooftop bar. [GS]
• Gramercy Tavern gives away free $24.07 gift cards, chaos ensues. [GS]
• Chocolate Bar is re-opening at a new location in the West Village. [NYO]
• Kevin Adey is taking over as chef at Park Slope's Bussaco. [TONY]
• Your Tony Bourdain rant o' the day: "Alice Waters annoys the living shit out of me... There's something very Khmer Rouge about [her]." [DCist via Eater]
• Spotted: Adam Platt's photo appears in Conde Nast Traveler. [Eater]
• Time Out's annual "Top 100" list is now online. [TONY]
• Frank Bruni hands out three stars today to Drew Nieporent's Corton thanks to Paul Liebrandt's ability to find "the sweet spot between disciplined cooking and intricate, imaginative leaps." [NYT]
• The good news/bad news for John Dory. [Eater]
• Alice Waters, Ruth Reichl, and Danny Meyer have volunteered to join Barack Obama's unofficial "kitchen cabinet." [Feedbag]
• La Cave des Fondus (where wine is served in baby bottles) is open. [NYM]
• As predicted, Upstairs is closing at the end of the year. [DBTH]
• One bonus to the recession: lobsters are cheaper than ever. [NYT]